In this episode, Lisa chats with Wolf, a student at Prague Yoga Collective, about his journey with yoga. Wolf hopped on a 30-day challenge on May 1st, 2019, and has been doing his practice every day since then. When this interview was done it was on the 555th day and when this episode was posted it was actually already 741 days of yoga! we chat about life, about choices, and about the practice and what it means to different kinds of people.
Hey, you guys, today I speak with wolf. And wolf is one of our super Yogi's, he has been doing yoga for today when this episode comes out, it's actually going to be 741 days in a row. And when we recorded this episode, it was 555. So you guys can do the math, we did this recording of the very first recording, I did, actually for this for the prospects of this podcast to come out. And it was back in November of 2020. But it's all still still news or store. News, but it's all still very relevant. And it's wolf story with yoga. And I think you've all sort of seen him around, seen him in class or seen him on Instagram and how he's tagging us and everything that he does, and, and, and all of that. So yeah, so wolf started our 30 day challenge on the first of May of 2019. And ever since that day, he's been doing yoga every day yoga, or meditation or pranayam, I should say, yeah, I'm gonna make a minute let to actually, wolf do this story here or tell the story himself. So I'm gonna stop talking and let's get into today's interview here.
Okay, so I'm sitting here with wolf. He's our Serbian super Yogi. He is a core part of our Prague Yoga Collective community. And I'm super excited to be talking to him today. So welcome Wolf.
Hey, good to have you Lisa. Thank you. Namastice to y'all y'all.
What does this mean? Namastice.
No mosquitoes like sweet little Namaste, which we have in Serbia whenever you add to this side is going to be sweet and small. So namastice in our case.
Namastice, because you always write that to me. This is the first time I've learned what it actually means. That's good. Yeah, okay. So. So, um, go on and tell us a little bit about yourself. Just some, some background and what made Wolf Wolf?
Well, Wolf is born as a wolf. in Serbian, my name actually means Wolf, so it's easily translated in any language. So since we speak English, it's Wolf. Rasta, Rasta, Wolf, Yogi, right? Rasta. Long, long time, like related to the culture and music and the freedom that it gives us. So yeah, here I am with this identity of Yogi that I have for for a long time now. And I rather enjoyed that.
Yeah. So you are from Serbia, right? You're born in Serbia?
Yeah, Serbian, born in Belgrade. From from part of the city called Zemon. So it's Zemon rules.
Yeah. What does it mean? is it like? Is that like,
that's the the, like, hardcore part of the city. And it's all about this. We rule and all. We are on the Danube Rivers. So it's really nice. I miss my hood. That's for sure.
Yeah. How long ago were you there? How long ago? Did you live there the last time.
Last time when I was in Serbia. I was like a year and a half. I think maybe less. I am Here I am in Prague with you guys. Two years ago, I came in to look for a job and soon it will be two years now how work?
Yeah, I remember that because you came into our first studio. For those of you guys that don't know, we started out with a studio in Prague seven on top of a CrossFit gym on bobigny station. It's just a little room with a little gross carpet, and we could fit maybe like 10 people in there. So and I remember meeting you there. The first time you came in with a friend have yours.
I remember that. Damir, Damir introduced me to Prague Yoga Collective, Damir brought me here he was, practicing with you before. So yeah, I remember too about the gym. It was late afternoon 11th of 11th 2018. I know everything. I remember you. I remember what I was eating that day.
You're so funny that way, you're, I feel like your brain works that way. You just have. Did you do that? When you were a little too like doing homework? You just read something? And then you just remembered it forever?
Well, I do remember some stuff from the childhood Of course, but some particular and very important moments that it will show later that were important. So that's how I kind of remember you your class your Rocket, that was my first Rocket action. Yeah,
Yeah, I really remember you coming in because you had you have a really big personality. And you sort of just walked in and went, Okay, let's do this yoga, throw it at me. I'm gonna do the best that I can. And, and, and it's it's quite a journey from then you said 11th of November 2018. So at the time of recording today, it's the same. Yes. So it's almost two years ago.
Thank you. Thank you, your personality, your personalities is even shinier, your personalities. Even shiniers on that class. I really emerged into that. And at that time, then those were my my beginnings. My yoga beginnings. I was into yoga at that time for several months only. Yeah. And like I said, First Rocket, it was really, really something different. That's, that's why I kind of remember it.
Yeah. So what's your what's your? I know, it's hard to say like, what's your favorite style of yoga? But for me, the rocket as everybody knows, the rocket is like really close to my heart. And it's something I found after going through a lot of different styles of yoga and trying to find my sort of home practice. The rocket is it for me, but like, what is your practice? Is it a bit of everything? Or what's like your go to? What do you like?
Yeah, I am. I am. First of all, hardcore vinyasa junkie. And I do that every day. Of course. I do love her cat. It goes with that. And in that sense, it gives me the, this meditation over movement, because I know what's next. Yeah, but vinyasa is funky and funny and creative. And when I practice with you two weeks in a row, if you remember, and we were doing a lot of rockets. And after that, when I went for vinyasa even with you, it was so nice, because it gives you a lot of other stuff. Of course, I try the different styles. And I'm kind of inclined toward Kundalini. And I want to do that. Make have these crazy movements with breathing too. So I've done stuff. I mean, started with heart, of course to know. And I've been even flying over how it's called aerial yoga.
Oh, yeah. How do you like that?
In what we do on the mat, you can control and like, listen to your body and go to the ad and all. But on the silica hanging from the ceiling, you cannot control so when it opens your chest, it opens all the way.
Yeah, yeah, that's what I found, too. You just have to like go with it. If you do Aereo Been a long time, though. Maybe we should do that, too. I don't know.
Yeah, I know. We can hang them here.
Yeah. Maybe maybe one at least down at Rejskova. Um, so. So you found Prague Yoga Collective through Damir. And then yeah, then you were you left Czech Republic. Right. And then you came back? Is that correct?
Yeah, that was the thing I came in to look for a job. And at that time, I was one month in Prague. And I was going through different studios where he was practicing before. And one of the classes that we went was with you. Then I want to handle the paperwork, blah, blah, blah, and came back to work. And like five days later, I'm stepping into the Prague Yoga Collective again, with damira. At that time, the new place in Rejskova, and Alex was there and it shouldn't be like too like I remember do your first day.
Yeah. Yeah, it's it's quite incredible because we opened Prague Yoga Collective Rejskova just about a month after your first class in our old studio then. And then in May of 2018, which is like five months later, we decided to do a challenge, like a 30 day challenge doing yoga every day just challenging our bodies and our minds for a bit and you signed up. And what were we thinking about that?
Yeah, yeah, let's, let's see. So I came at the beginning of March. And that will be two months prior to the challenge, that challenge. And I was practicing, like, five, six times a week. Still, like getting into that and finding out that if I skip a day, the day after is it's kind of harder since we changed that hard vinyasa. The challenge came in somewhere, like, announced in March, maybe April, I signed up straightaway. And then we started the journey of this 30 days, every day in may have done that pretty nicely. I enjoyed, I figured out that, that this skip day that I had in previous two months, coming in hard after, it was really nice to continue flowing from day to day. And under 30 days when I reached the challenge. I didn't skip the days since we could skip a day during the challenge. And I came to you, I came to you, you are the Scandinavian goddess, right? I'll be like, hey, Lisa, I can I have this 30 days? That's cool. I know. And you were like, not too excited about it. Not even Oh, no. Like, I know, it was nice to know. But you gave me something else you gave me like, why don't you go for 60. That's like next. And then after the 60 was like, come for 90. But on that 30 day, the whole day, I was thinking like, should I go? Should I stay? should I? What is the way? What is the path? But I rather want one foot to flow this 90 days? And let me continue the story or not? Let me stop here. Right. I'll stop here.
No, no, no, continue the story. I want to hear it all.
I mean, on this 90th day, the I had my white master that I call him back while I was living in China, and practicing Tai Chi and a little bit of Kung Fu with him. Because he's into all that. And he brought me closer to this non I don't know, how would I say non touchable things and all that we have through practice? So he told me like, dude, because we are like that, even though he's much older. To feel the real effects. You need to practice like, three years continuously. So the body and everything can absorb that and do its magic. Yeah. So yeah, here I am on the on the way. So next milestone is 1000 days. Yeah. And today's 550/5 day in a row of yoga.
That's really like, it's funny, because when I talked to last week about doing this, that we pin it down on day 555 for this for this podcast. And also, there's another sort of serendipitous day, which is that you decided to do our yoga teacher training. And that one started on your 500th day of yoga. And it's not anybody didn't think about it, we didn't put it down I
like and I like FIFO so much. And I like five so much. And it's really nice that the numbers are coming as they're supposed to be if you remember the second birthday of byc, that we had at Prostor. Yeah. What is the 39? Yeah, that it was my 200 and 22nd day on your second birthday. So you go figure
That's nuts. Well, if it just means that you have to stick with us for till the end of time, you know, you're just gonna keep getting all these numbers, right.
And that's why that's why I wrote that's why I wrote an email Few days ago, like, may I pronounce myself on today's day as a yoga teacher 555 days? And also, of course,
of course you do. Yeah. Yeah, that's been a little bit.
I'm not going anywhere.
I know. I mean, that's been a little bit challenging, I think for you guys in this batch of teacher trainees, because we did this training and you guys have just finished and most of you all have graduated, but we did get hit by this. Stay at home order. So the last three weeks of your training, we had to get to do everything online. Do you Take us through just your teacher training journey and like how that felt and how the beginning was...
Since we live in COVID world these days. And this ending, like you said, on the teacher training was kind of isolated. But for me, everything was the same. I was still every day in the studio, since I don't have this internet at home writing the different kind of life. And for me, it was kind of the same. I mean, I'm still in the place where I want to be and do that stuff, the teacher training. And for me, teacher training came naturally actually, more people told me that I should go for that. And I was thinking about even being supported by you by by other Yogi's and also so my, my teacher training came really, as it's supposed to be. And then I really emerged into that with all of the stuff being going through, personally, socially, where we live at now. And so I'm really glad to gain something new, some some new knowledge, and then some new doors to see through.
Yeah. Is that how you feel like, This training is like, sort of a stepping stone to something something more? Or do you feel like you want to sit with this knowledge for a bit and like start teaching? Or what's your what's your plan with all of the stuff that we that we've tried to push into your brain for the past few weeks?
Well, I figured this long time ago that you don't push things, and you even don't chase, but they come naturally. Even this teacher training, like we said, so yeah, I want to teach I want to share that love for yoga. I want to be emerged into that even more. I'm not gonna jump into that full time. I don't think it's doable in these days. But yeah, I wanna, I wanna do it, I want to continue doing it. And I'm gonna go for continuous learning to know and I'm living this Yogi life, and I'm not living it full time. Like we're supposed to do it. But yeah, I do it.
What do you mean with full time? I feel like you're probably one of the ones in this country even that is living yoga, the most full time as you possibly can. Do you know, what, what are you missing here?
And I still am. I'm not missing among missing, I'm emerging. That's, that's nice. And to be a yogi full time, it's like, you need to read the thing to live to. I don't do that full time. I'm still like, on my way. And I'm still just devote the you know, I still consider myself as a beginner beginner,
How has it changed for you, not just like in body because I can I as a teacher can see that, like, your strength has changed, your flexibility has changed. And I can also see that your, your mindset has changed a little bit like when you're in studio, but for example, when you go to your work because you work in an office, right? And when you move around in the city, what how is your practice changed in like your daily life situation, since these 555 days started
The life off the mat, right. But like I said, doing things, you're not pushing union, they're coming, since you're handling them every day, even planning a big trip to go across the world. It takes time and planning and doing over is the so whatever I do kind of these days, you don't push but you have some long term plan, maybe kind of what I like to say laser sharp focus. And you do you work on that. And it will come light, like we say practice and all is coming. And yes, my body's still changing. and if we talk about 555 days, like 400 days ago, I was like, dude, you didn't have this muscle in your life, like was this growing? And my body still changes and then we talked about the muscles during the teacher training and do this, like I'm talking to myself. I'm talking to myself do do these muscles, like and then I never had a body like this in my life. And yeah, talking about how I do it. Let's say it works. I do in the in the same way I give my best. And then the guy ceramah would be like, you're competitive and all No, dude, I'm a competitive, I don't look into what you're doing, I'm doing my best. And I'm killing numbers like making records in the company, and all. And that's really nice. And I'm best agent for several months now. So I really enjoy doing what I do. And being able to be myself that's most important even before while I was a teacher, I mean, the kindergarten teachers are in that yoga teacher and yoga teacher from today. The it was important for me to be able to be myself. And that's what I like yoga. And that's why I say to people that doing yoga, you'll be more yourself.
Yeah, I think I think that is a really that leads me into my next question. Because during the teacher training, we did a session when we were out of Prague, in, in a retreat, we did a session with me that we called the inner critic, or the and the inner best friend, if you remember. And basically, for those of you guys that haven't done this before, it's like, we look at what the inner critic says. And then we turn around and we, we see what our inner best friend would actually say to our inner critic, and something that you said, wolf is that your inner critic tells you, and I'm paraphrasing a little bit, but to act that is telling you to act like what society wants you to do, and like fall in line and be this and that. And then that your inner best friend would turn around and just tell you, like, don't worry what other people think about you. Just be yourself. And, and then everything will come like it's almost like Practice, practice and all this coming. You know? Is this what you mean? With your, with the way that you're living? And with the way that you do you know, you're doing at work? And I don't know where Yeah.
Goose bumping now. So give me a sec to get up. Yeah, it was really, it was really what what you want to do with yourself to be who you are and what somebody else tells you to be in society at work on math. with people, you know, just be yourself and find that true, you we knew, I don't know, I tried to do the why not to smile, one not to think about positive stuff, we can always get back to from faces and think about what's wrong. And that will catch up with us eventually. But being light, the being light in both ways, being the light that shines and light that you are really easy and like feather flying around. I don't know how to express that. But I mentioned previously and you said it now. Yeah, I do talk with myself and with my friends and and then we make it and advise Of course, but at the end, it wins what truly is you or what truly I am.
Yeah. And is this this is this is something that most people don't really get there. If they don't, if they don't start looking and they don't start digging, they're not going to get to that point because we all we all walk around our lives. And we just, you know, there's all these things that are imposed on us from childhood like that we have to fit in a certain way or be a certain way. Is this something that you've worked with? Or? Or do Yeah, but if it is something that you've you've struggled with, like in the past, or or Have you always been this wolf that's just like, Ah, I'm just going to do myself and and everybody has to deal with it.
Yeah, I'm gonna do myself and not everybody has to deal with that and the people that want to deal with that they're gonna stick with that, but yeah, yeah. Since you asked me now I was like thinking and I can primary school I was being myself to like, talk about creative creativity. I wanted to express myself in different ways, even that time to put the funky hair because you want to be funky or something. I don't know. It is really a journey. And then many, many years ago, I was not thinking about these people that stick with my mind. Being myself were telling me like, dude, you need something softer like to go to toward yourself to go inward to, at that time that was called, like go for meditation or something. But then the journey that goes over, gives you something else. And while I was living in China, at that point, I was closer to Buddhism than I was closer to, to Christianity ever in my life. But at the time, like his sad white Master, I had somebody to show me the ways to keep me going, and also doing yoga. Now I know where to look. And that's inward, to be able to express yourself naturally, you need to know yourself inside. And that's like talking with people that you have inside even arguing or negotiating, I would say, again, with people inside you, that's what we want to go figure yourself to be able to go out to outer worlds and be yourself again.
Right? Yeah, that's what we talk about a lot in the training, right? This relationship with yourself, strengthening the relationship with yourself to be able to have a have a better or a stronger relationship to other people, or to the world around us basically.
Know yourself, Know yourself to be able to know somebody else or love yourself first, to be able to love anybody else.
Yeah, for sure.
Teach yourself to be able to teach or I mean, whatever you want to do, you need to do is put yourself first and to be able to, to see what is outside, you need to be able to see what is inside for us. I don't know, is this too much philosophy?
No, it's not. It's very, it's, it's the truth. And it's something that we don't think about all the time. And sometimes we forget, even even as, as yoga teachers or as myself a full time yoga teacher, sometimes I'll just run around and teach all these classes and rush back to my children. And I'm just, you know, I'm not practicing my yoga in my daily life, or when I teach sometimes, because I just have so much to do. So I just forget about turning inward and doing my own practice and working on that relationship with myself to be able to be a better teacher, a better mother, a better apartment partner, or a better person, in general, you know? And it's, it's such a, I think it's such an important conversation to have.
It's important to see yourself that's right. And let's get back to some other Yoga philosophy, open the third eye, to see yourself to, to get to know thyself and then you will be able to do whatever is coming for you.
Yeah, exactly. Do you? Do you feel that way? Every day? When you're doing your yoga? Or has it bit has there been a day or a few days in this 555 days where you're like, oh, my goodness, I cannot do yoga today. I don't want to, you know, anything.
I do I do yoga every day? I do it with with the joy that I know that it'll bring me something new after I like my morning practice to wake up the body to wake up the mind. To die a little in that savasana suite at the end. And then to wake up with new body with new thoughts and then to go into that day. And the crazy world where we live. Not every day is the same cannot be not not even your you always say that your morning body and afternoon body. Not the same. So no, my body is not the same every day. I come as a spaghetti Yogi. Arms. I came like stiff sometimes, of course. And sometimes you come you've come lightened with more joy. More. It's different. Of course.
Yeah. Is there any day that you've, you've missed and you've done like, two practices the next day or done something to make up for it? Or like, just before midnight? You did something or? I don't know.
Okay, okay. Yeah. Nice, nice question. Even even during the 30 days, I was kind of cheating. Taking the one day morning practice and then the other day taking the evening practice, then you're gonna give a body a little bit more It's time to recover. Or even jump over the hidden yoga to melt into the floor and all that was that that comes nice. We do yoga every day. We don't do vinyasa everyday right, then. But then yeah, I had a I had a day in during the 90 days. day that I escaped and I came pretty sad the next day to, to you and girls, it holds three of you working in the studio. I was like, I missed the day and what the heck, let me cry. And then you had a sort of like, you had a sort of like a meeting like what we're gonna do with his case, right? And I got a reply. I think they after, like do to you in the next seven days, you have to do twice and on the day, and then you'll cover your ass. And then yeah, the course and I'm still on a journey. And it's not a question anymore. I'm not keeping a day. It's part of me already. I know. I'm gonna do it. I'll find the time that they've been like, I don't have time to do this. And you don't have time because you don't think about yourself. It's good for me for my body. I enjoy that. I'm gonna do it every day. No, no matter what. Yeah. And I'm and I am do two classes, three classes. That's not a problem for me. Even during the teacher training, when we had two practices during the hard core, both of them hour and a half with you girls and all and I have seen people dying. They're like, quitting. And me it was struggle for me to but then I'm kind of into practicing every day. So it was, it was okay.
Yeah, I think your your body and your mind is used to do that by now I think it's a good thing to do, to just get yourself into that mindset of going, Okay, man, I'm gonna do this every day, I'm going to do this every day, there's no there's nothing else to talk about. I'm going to do this every day. Me personally, I've done this 30 day challenges. And I think I've done I've done 100 days, sweat off. It was also like with a couple of those doubles and stuff within that. But it's been years since I've done that. But it's a very big decision to make in the beginning. And then after a while, it's not as big anymore, because it's just part of what you do. It's part of your routine. Yeah.
But I don't have a problem to go over several classes. That's, that's the sweet thing that I enjoy doing that. And I need to say this when I had a class or you, but not not practicing, I was sitting in the corner, you remember that?
I remember that.
To that pull in that story now or you
Yes, pull it in.
I mean, you You are the You're the light that shines, we know that you are again, I will say Scandinavian goddess. And I do like other teachers too. And I practice but with you. It's always different experience. And I had that was my 420 at a day in a row. I remember that because that was the celebration day, I had my class with Rosi. And that was really sweet. But after that, I took a class with you, I announced I announced myself to you so you know that I won't, will not be practicing, but rather meditating over over your class. And that was, let's get back to this thing. Like you need to know yourself and to look inside and to do stuff inside to be able to do it outside. So I was practicing this class of yours. Inside of me. I was doing everything that you were cueing. I was doing it but in my mind, even feeling the sensations of body moving even though I was sitting and absorbing all of that.
And I think I think that the people that were in that class that you were in just sitting and doing that practice, they were also quite inspired and chatted about that afterwards. And they're like, Oh, you can you can do that. You can really do that. You can really go and just sit is that also practice and I remember you telling them that yeah, it's also practice. It's your on your mat. You don't have to move and sweat and jump and do everything. Practices a meaningful handstand all the time. Sometimes it's just sitting you know.
I mean, you you You're the first one who always say that if you're up for your savasana during the whole class, be my guest if that that's gonna bring you the practice of your so do it. So you actually inspired me to do this. And I was like, I gotta I gotta do it. It's it's natural way.
Yeah, that's good. Yeah, that was that was a special class. Can I ask you something about what you said here? Because you were celebrating your 400 and 20th day during this celebration? What? Why? What's the celebration of 420 for you?
What does that mean? Come on like 420 people people listening this what is 420? Like I said Rasta related to this culture and 420 doing this, cannabis ganja so it's part of me for a long time, too. So I do smoke that and I enjoy that. And long time ago, I figured out even with that, like, I do that. Because it gives me the freedom to do whatever you want to do. Because it gives you the the flow to do what's on your mind and to do it and then be people like smoking or like Dude, like cool off? Or annoying? I'll do don't don't do that you do that to feel free? To be free?
Yeah. Does it make you do always feel free with that? Like, if that's the question, Do you always feel free with it? Or do you feel sometimes like, Oh, this is what I do to function? You know? It's not a question I can ask
I can function too, yeah, I can do that, too. I can function without, of course. But it's part of me like like this, go back to yoga or connect both of them, like do you do the stuff? It's part of you, it brings you the happiness and brings you the insights and brings you the the way how to act, it brings you to yourself again, that's the that's the point doing the stuff that gives you opportunity to be to be yourself
Right no, you did you did I'm just wondering, because, you know, it's like, everybody's journey is different. And for some people that doesn't work at all, you know, working with? I don't know, what do we call it a psychedelic? No, we don't call it a psychedelic do we?
We call it in, we call it we call it ethoegen, or the plant matter that will help you in your spiritual path. Right. Right.
I hear you. Um,
So what about Rastafarianism like I, I know very little about it, but you talk about it a lot. And, and to me, there's, there's, I don't know, the things that I've heard about rastafarianism some of them are quite controversial. And some of its like, like you like really free and, and fulfilling and all that.
That's the that's the that's the that's the that's the path of freedom again. And then those people get around about about one idea that that will get free eventually when the at that time Haile Selassie Well, it will become the new Messiah. And then we have the Ethiopia at that time, who was one of the first countries that that was free country in the in Africa and third world. So you have a lot of African countries later, later, gaining this in taking this colors, red, yellow, and green on their flags, because it meant freedom. And I really like this colors and you will see me always with something. And if I can get a matte with this colors, I will be the most happiest Yogi on the world. do carry my flag would mean so you will sit it with me during the class
With your in your class that you're taught. But But I'm wondering with this Rastafarianism like how Rastafarin and are you? Do you just like, believe in some of the ideas or are you really like practicing this fully, like full on? Where are you there?
Believe believe in ideas. I don't practices fully since there is a special kind of diet and all. But in that way, it's pretty much connected to yoga in the sense of this food habits and how you act and react. I do this. Like, practically is that's how it's sad when you take The part that fits you and feels you and rather connects with you. So I do that like, not only from Rastafarianism or from yoga or from other stuff. But I mean, even when you're listening music you take and enjoy what it feels right for you not, not something else.
Right? Yeah, that makes sense that answers my question. You mentioned in the Rastafarian ism, that there's a special diet and stuff there. Where I know we talked about vegetarianism in the beginning of this teacher training journey, because we, during the teacher training, we always encourage people to at least try being vegetarian just to sort of implement a little bit of a yogic lifestyle, at least for the week. So we're in the training. Is this something that you did in the end? Are you still doing Wolf stuff?
I didn't jump onto that train, as I would say. But my thing is that I listened my buddy, so I'm not being bothered about the meat too much. And I do eat it when my body tells me to eat. So I'm going tower that probably and eventually I will, I will be there. And I'm looking forward to that. But I'm coming from meat cultures. My body's like, like that, and generations before me, and I don't know I'm doing I'm listening my body the whole time. So if it is about food, I do listen and about food.